Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Little House on the Prairie
It's late and I don't have much time to respond.
Rick: Yes, the hilt on that cut point bolo looks similar to the one I show, although mine is minus the spiral groove and the handle is made of wood not caribou horn. With the provenance you have, it must be almost certainly from the Philippines. Is the blade the usual V-grind or chisel ground?
I think you and others have effectively established that this general style of knife existed in the Philippines, and that was known before the present post and is not really an issue. The question comes down to whether this is a predominantly Spanish style or a Philippine style. If it is unique to the Philippines, then I need look no further. If the style is predominantly Spanish, and given the military inscription in Spanish that may be a logical deduction, then the possibilities are much broader. That's why I'm looking carefully at the particular characteristics to see if they match common experiences with other Philippine knives of this variety. If not, it could be an uncommon example of a Filipino knife, or an example from somewhere else in the former Spanish Empire. BTW, I have had no success in tracking down the regimental number.
Tom: I'm having trouble communicating the cross section of the blade, largely because I don't really know what to call it. The back is perfectly flat. The other side has a convex grind to the edge, not a flat bevel of the wide (Visayan) or narrow (Batangas) variety.
Zel: No question that Luzon knives can have ferrules at either end and a variety of cross sections, as you have illustrated. Of the examples that you show, perhaps the hilt at the bottom comes closest to my knife (minus the guard). A picture from the end of the pommel will help explain the shape of the hilt, and I will post one shortly.
I also understand that pointed bolos were prohibited by the Spanish at certain times to limit the local population's use of such lethal weapons. But this is a regimentally marked blade -- why would a compromised weapon be issued to/used by a Government soldier? Perhaps Tom's suggestion of a tool is correct.